Morris Arboretum’s new summer exhibit is in full swing—literally.
The official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s latest seasonal activation, the Summer of Swings, launched last week and will be open on their grounds until Monday, Sept. 5. Over the 92 acres of land, 10 swings have been strategically placed for visitors to enjoy, but there will also be an opportunity for science experiments and additional fun.
As the activation’s official page claims, the activity is actually good for you: Riding on swings encourages important physical and cognitive benefits like improved coordination and stress reduction. Swinging also encourages social interaction and development, increases spatial awareness, helps develop gross motor skills (pumping legs, running and jumping), and helps develop fine motor skills (grip strength, hand, arm and finger coordination.)
“Riding on swings encourages important physical and cognitive benefits, like improved coordination and stress reduction,” said Bryan Thompson-Nowak, Director of Education in a statement. “Swings are also an example of physics in action. A swing is really just a type of pendulum and can be used to test fascinating experiments exactly like those of renowned astronomer, physicist, and engineer Galileo.”
Seven of the swings were handmade at the Arboretum from fallen trees and pruned branches, including one built from one of the most notable trees at the Arboretum—the Engler beech—which was removed in 2021, according to a release. And each of those traditional swing seats are laser-carved with the common and scientific name of the species of tree.
The release also states that in addition to the main line-up, there are also two swings designed specifically for young children, and an A-frame porch swing. To protect the swings’ host trees from damage, the swing ropes rest on a series of wood blocks, allowing them to move without rubbing the bark or becoming too tight and restricting the flow of sap in the tree.
While walking through the Arboretum and enjoying the Summer of Swings, Philadelphians can also check out Morris’ Garden Railway: America’s Roadside Attractions, featuring model trains running through tunnels and over bridges along a quarter mile of spectacular outdoor track. This exhibit is free with Morris Arboretum admission.
While there, Philadelphians can view a wide range of both new and vintage model trains after getting off the swings. According to the official site, this season’s theme, America’s Roadside Attractions, features miniature replicas of some of this country’s most iconic roadside attractions including Randy’s Donuts, the Jolly Green Giant, and the World’s Oldest Largest Pecan.
The event also promises to leave you with the feeling like you’ve traveled all over the U.S. without ever exiting Chestnut Hill.
To learn more information about the Morris Arboretum’s (100 E Northwestern Ave.) new exhibit, visit morrisarboretum.org
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